Animal husbandry, or animal science, is commonly described as the study of the biology of animals under the control of humankind. Although this definition has traditionally centered around farm animals, over the past decades the term has been broadened to include companion and exotic animals as well. Human and animal kind continue to find themselves coexisting in an ever changing variety of ways as human dwellings move farther and farther out into what were once wild habitats.
Where livestock and range management deal primarily with large and small scale animal producers and the conditioning and marketing practices involved in food animal production, animal husbandry (science) is concerned with understanding how animals work. Animal science deals with the physiology and biochemistry of tissues and major organs all the way down to the structure and function of biomolecules and cells.
In husbandry particular emphasis is given to the study of nutrition, reproduction, growth, and lactation of farm and companion animals and how these processes can be optimized. Expertise in these areas is not only important for the health of the livestock being produced, but also for their protection. Livestock owners must be aware of the quality of their pasture and what is available for the animals to forage. At certain times of the year certain plants or the nuts (seeds) from some trees can be toxic to livestock.
Nutrition is the provision of materials necessary to cells and organisms to support life. Specializing in animal nutrition can take many forms; working for animal food producers or zoos and aquariums, or animal hospitals and rehabilitation facilities.
Dr. Elizabeth White
Veterinary Science Information Technologies
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